Spending Time Wisely | What Raederle Did For 90 Days

I can state with absolute certainty that on June 29th 2012, I spent six hours and thirty-five minutes being creative and crafty. The following day, the 30th, I spent an insane 10 hours and 40 minutes at the same activity! Sadly, that day I only spent one minute exercising.
I also know that from June 1st to July 8th I spent an average of three hours and three minutes in the kitchen daily.
How do I know these things? And why does anyone care?
Raederle on August 2nd 2012 | Local Organic Kale Salad | Photo taken by Lytenian

Daily Logging

For the past ninety days I have logged everything I've done.
I wrote down what I was doing, the time I started, and the time I finished. Then, in the next column I wrote how much time I spent doing it. (If I started at 11:00am and continued until 11:10am, then in the next column I wrote "10m" for ten minutes.)
To make this log a viable tool to see how I'm spending my time, I then created ten categories of activities to keep particular track of. These categories are as follows:
  • Activities related to my raw food & nutrition business
  • Socializing on facebook, twitter, pinterest and through e-mail
  • Gaming: including board games and video games
  • Leisure reading: reading fictional novels for enjoyment
  • Kitchen: including eating, kitchen cleaning, meal preparation and putting away groceries
  • Cleaning: any cleaning done outside of the kitchen, such as sweeping floors
  • Exercise: including walking, chi gong, yoga, jumping on the trampoline, running, etc
  • Art: including drawing, digital painting, crafts, doodling and all artistic projects that don't fall into another category
  • Gardening: including weeding, harvesting, planting and watering (not including taking the compost out since Jay does that) 
  • Education: including watching informational documentaries, reading informational books and other educational activities
Each morning since June 1st 2012 I have calculated how much time I spent doing each of the above ten categories on the previous day.

A Sense Of Accomplishment

The first benefit of this log became evident after just a few days. Each morning I was filled with a sense of accomplishment as I totaled up how much time I spent doing each activity yesterday. This was especially pronounced the morning after a productive day.
I would look and say, "I spent a lot of time doing things that are good for me! Awesome!"
Even when the next morning I discovered I spent the previous day playing games all day, I still felt something: I had done something. It wasn't nothing; It was something. I made a choice about how to spend my time. It actually happened. It wasn't a dream. It wasn't lost in space. It was real. (So let it be done, so let it be written?)
This overwhelming sense of my actions having a real "impact" flooded me even in the first two weeks of June. Logging my activities has given me a sense of reality like nothing I've ever done before.
Things got exciting when I started adding up the totals for periods of time and calculating the average amount of time spent on an activity per day over a certain span of time.
From July 22nd to August 3rd I spent 2 hours and 21 minutes on my business daily (on average) and 32 minutes on facebook/e-mail/pinterest daily (on average).
From June 1st to June 13th I spent an average of 40 minutes daily on my personal education through documentaries, informational articles and educational books.
From June 1st to June 13th I spent an average of 23 minutes daily on my garden, as I was still needing to tend baby plants and look after them. Yet from July 9th to August 3rd I only spent an average of 2 minutes a day in the garden, as that was all that was needed to cut out an over-sized weed and harvest tomatoes, zucchinis, broccoli, blackberries, etc.
The above snippets are interesting, but they don't say much about my overall trends. Sure, some days I spent a whopping five hours playing video games. Some days I spent seven hours in the kitchen. Some days I spent eleven hours being artistic! Some days I spent over four hours cleaning. The distribution of my activities is wild. I get into something and I roll with it. When I was busy working on writing the HTML for this website I spent over six hours a day working on the project for three days in a row.
These snippets of time can actually be a bit horrifying. I find myself asking questions like: "How could I have spent so little time on my education and so little time exercising, but so much time drawing and gaming?" Or, "What on earth am I doing in the kitchen for so many hours in a day?" Or, "I haven't done any gaming or anything artsy for more than minutes in weeks. I'm working myself to death!"
But once I'd averaged enough time together, I found the results soothing. Everything balances out.
In hard factual numbers I have proof that I'm actually balancing my time pretty well. Or at least, I've balanced my time well for the past ninety days.

Possible Paradox...? & Motivation

How much has logging my time changed how I spend my time?
I have no way to tell for certain, but I'm quite sure it has improved my habits. I want to be able to look at those numbers telling me that I'm exercising often, that I'm educating myself consistently, and so on. I don't want those numbers to be a bunch of zeros. That would make it seem like I wasn't doing anything.
The implications here are enormous. What if I had decided to track ten different categories than I did? What if I tracked Grooming, Time Talking to Husband, Time Being Charitably Nice, Time Spent Meditating, etc? Would I then lean towards those activities because I wanted to see big numbers in hours and minutes tracking those things?
I think I would.
I think that the categories I have chosen have absolutely impacted the way I think about what I do, and what I do.
The impact is strong enough that each day I feel a twinge of guilt about not spending more time in my garden. However, for the most part, I'm very pleased with how my 90-day averages turned out.

90 Days | Totals | Averages

The fresh calculations I made this morning (the 90th day was yesterday)...

June 1st 2012 to August 29th 2012


Totals (90 Days):
Business: 137 hours, 40 minutes
Social Media: 77 hours, 55 minutes
Gaming: 77 hours, 25 minutes
Leisure Reading: 153 hours, 55 minutes
Kitchen: 261 hours, 20 minutes
Cleaning: 41 hours, 2 minutes
Exercise: 20 hours, 22 minutes
Art: 75 hours, 40 minutes
Gardening: 9 hours, 41 minutes
Education: 37 hours, 35 minutes

Daily Averages (90 Days):
Business: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Social Media: 52 minutes
Gaming: 51 minutes
Leisure Reading: 1 hour, 42 minutes
Kitchen: 2 hours, 54 minutes
Cleaning: 27 minutes
Exercise: 13 minutes
Art: 50 minutes
Gardening: 6 minutes
Education: 25 minutes

What You Don't See

Before commenting about what the above averages imply about me, I want to first mention some of the things that are not shown in the above numbers.
I sleep about eight hours at night (not calculated, this is my educated guess), so I'm awake 16 hours a day. The above averages cover 9 hours and 51 minutes out of the day. That means that 6 hours and 9 minutes per day are spent doing things not on the list.
Those remaining 6 hours and 9 minutes are spent doing the following:
  • Editing for clients, mainly The Vegetarian Health Institute
  • Getting groceries, mainly our weekly drive to pick up our CSA vegetables from the farm
  • Talking to Jay or someone else
  • Socializing at a potluck or other event
  • Grooming, showering, brushing and braiding my hair and Jay's hair
  • Day dreaming, meditating and praying
There may be other things as well. Unique events can't all be listed, certainly.
You may find it interesting to note that two years later, in August 2013, I'm still logging everything. I have actually logged things like grooming for a period of time, and after writing this post I started tracking my sleep. This has been a very beneficial practice for me. One thing I notice is that I spend a lot of time coming up with useful tips, tricks and ideas for you.
I like helping out. I do it naturally. I enjoy helping my clients move from unwell to well. I love buying organic cotton and turning it into clothing. I love to create gourmet raw foods, photograph them, share with friends, and give you the recipe. I do this all without charging anything for it because I believe in freedom of education, freedom of knowledge and freedom of life itself.
But, if you feel inspired, please send me a few dollars. I'm so busy learning new things and being good to the planet that I often forget to make any money.

Business

90 day Total: 137 hours, 40 minutes
Daily Average: 1 hour, 31 minutes
This is perhaps the number of most concern to me, and why I have it listed first in my charts. Working on meal plans, writing recipes, photographing food, helping clients, promoting myself, working on my website, writing blog entries, calculating nutrition in various foods in comparison to others, catering events, and goodness the list goes on. These things are my life force. They are the things I do that make me feel accomplished and give me a "place" in the world.
This category is obviously important for the aspect of producing a profit, but also because it is the category where I connect with others in a meaningful way. Bringing joy and healing to another human being is a foundation of a happy existence.
I'm pleased to say that I've spent a lot more time on things in this category in August than I have in either June or July and I expect the trend to continue. In the last thirteen days I've averages two hours and forty minutes per day.

Social Media

90 day Total: 77 hours, 55 minutes
Daily Average: 52 minutes
I have a love-hate relationship with how much time falls into this category. On the one hand, I don't use a phone. I use e-mail, and that is bound to take up a certain amount of time due to necessity. I must communicate with others about plans, if nothing else. For example, I can't just show up somewhere without telling anyone I'm coming. There is a minimal amount of correspondence that must happen.
What I don't like is when I get "caught up" looking in to random things on facebook or pinterest for two hours at a time. Afterwards I know a little bit of trivia and I've had a few laughs, but... Ultimately, I don't feel like I've accomplished anything and that doesn't feel so good. Also, I don't find it inspiring. I could spend that same two hours watching a single motivating documentary and come out of it feeling really educated and inspired.
I have another difficulty with this category, as to what comes under "business" as a form of promotion, and what comes under "social media" as me just being social. If I spend thirty minutes on twitter and a few links led to my website, is it really justified to count that as thirty minutes spent doing "business"? It doesn't seem like it should be, and so I end up splitting it into 20 minutes for social media and 10 minutes for business. That is fair, I think, but is it accurate?

Gaming

90 day Total: 77 hours, 25 minutes
Daily Average: 51 minutes
This category is another that I have a love-hate relationship with. I enjoy video games immensely for a time, but then I start playing because... I feel like I have to? Or something else silly. There becomes a drive to "finish" the game just to finish it (even though I rarely ever finish any video game). There becomes this need to stay "in" to it. I quickly become an addict to a game – dreaming about it, thinking about it, wanting to play it all the time – and just as rapidly I lose interest. While I'm in the "addict" phase I'm terrified of losing the addiction and not finishing the game. While I'm in the "no interest" phase I have little to no inclination to play any video games at all. I've tried to find middle ground with this for years, but have not. I seem to play games ravenously for a few months and then stop entirely for a few months.
When it comes to board games, I have a love relationship. Board games are one of the most wonderful ways to socialize. I feel more accomplished when a play a board game because of the "reality" of playing with live players in the same room. It doesn't have that draining addicting effect on me. Sometimes I really want to play board games more, but it's not that same obsessive feeling I get with video games.
As a side note, some of my favorite video games: Civilization (I own all of them, including Test of Time, Call to Power, Warlock, Colonization, Alpha Centari, etc), Pharaoh (one of the only games I've ever finished), Plants versus Zombies, Defense Grid, Eufloria, Grand Ages: Rome and Sanctum.
Some of my favorite board games: Race for the Galaxy, Taluva, Diplomacy, Conquest, Blockus, Cranium, Settlers of Catan, Dominion, Ra, For Sale, and Saboteur.

Leisure Reading

90 day Total: 153 hours, 55 minutes
Daily Average: 1 hour, 42 minutes
I have a love-love-love relationship with leisure reading. I read to cool down from anything and everything. Stressed out? Read. Tired? Read. Need a break? Read!
I especially love the type of fantasy written by Steven Brust, Karen Miller (also known as K. E. Mills), Jo Graham, Carol Berg and Terry Pratchet. I also enjoy historical novels in some cases, such as Jean Auel's Earth Children's series and all of Joan Grant's books (which aren't actually in the fantasy genre at all).
While I love "educational reading" as well, it doesn't give me a rest, it gives me a boost of information. Stories let my mind relax. Information lights a fire under me, which may result in ideas or action.

Kitchen

90 day Total: 261 hours, 20 minutes
Daily Average: 2 hours, 54 minutes
This is the most consistent category of all. I always eat, every day, without fail. The lowest average (of a 13 day segment) for this was two hours and thirty-eight minutes. The shortest day of all was an hour (that is probably the minimal time for eating itself), and that was because Jay brought me my meals that day. The longest daily average (of a 13 day segment) was three hours and thirty-two minutes.
The only other category that was almost as consistent was reading. It makes sense: fuel for my imagination and fuel for my body. These things I must have consistently. If only I could apply this same sort of mindless "need" to exercise habits!
Do I spend more time in the kitchen as a raw vegan than most people do? Probably not. Much of the time I grab two oranges, wash them, peel them, eat them, wash my hands and I'm done. That takes me six minutes (I happen to know this for a fact).
Other times I make a nori wrap. Nori wraps take me about thirteen minutes to make, eat and clean up after. I usually have two at once. It doesn't take much more time to make a second or third one at the same time since most of the time spent is taking things out of the fridge and putting them back again.
Sometimes Jay and I make a carrot juice. That involves washing the carrots, putting them in the juicer, drinking the juice and washing the juicer. We usually do this together and it takes about twenty minutes for us each to have a tall glass, or forty minutes if we make an entire pitcher full. Most of the effort expended in making carrot juice is in washing the carrots. It's a great deal though since organic carrots generally cost $1 a pound. Name another organic vegetable that is only $1 a pound! If you're interested, click here for my juice recipes.
Kitchen time is really three different processes: Preparing, Chewing & Cleaning. I think the time that each of these takes is fairly balanced. With some foods you're lucky and clean up and preparation takes less time than chewing (like with nori wraps). Most foods however take just as long to prepare and clean up after as they do to chew.
In the case of the smoothie, you're doing more swishing in the mouth than chewing, and it doesn't take long, so clean up and preparation really do each take as much time as the drinking of your glass of deliciousness. In the case of a smoothie, the entire process (rinsing the blender, taking everything out, blending, drinking, cleaning up afterwards) takes me about twenty minutes to serve two people.

Cleaning

90 day Total: 41 hours, 2 minutes
Daily Average: 27 minutes
I do quite a bit of cleaning in the kitchen every single day. I don't like dirty dishes left about, or dirty kitchen towels sitting around on counters. These things are big no-nos with me. So most of my cleaning is already included in the "Kitchen" category. I go entire days without cleaning anything else. Clothes come off me and go directly onto a hook or into the laundry. That takes seconds and is hardly worth logging. I didn't log hygiene activities like brushing my teeth or hair, so that wouldn't go here either.
What is logged in cleaning are these activities: sweeping, mopping, dusting, organizing, laundry washing and folding, and home-improvement sorts of tasks that aren't artistic. One day where I logged five hours on to cleaning I spent much of the day taking apart cardboard boxes and stuffing them in the recycling bin and masking a room to be painted. I also took boxes of stuff out to the porch to be donated that day, as well as doing a lot of sweeping, dusting and reorganizing.
I rarely spend 27 minutes in a day cleaning. Most days are either five or ten minutes spent dusting one or two things or folding some laundry, and then once or twice a week I spend several hours working on cleaning and organizing some particular area.

Exercise

90 day Total: 20 hours, 22 minutes
Daily Average: 13 minutes
This I find a little shameful. This includes walking!
Goodness, isn't it a life-saver that I've become so particular and discerning about food!?
What's shocking about this tiny, tiny amount of exercise is that I'm still slowly getting stronger. Can anybody say: raw foods are powerful?
Of course, I'm also on my feet the majority of the time I'm in the kitchen, cleaning and gardening. However, twenty minutes of cleaning rarely gets me as out of breath as does twenty minutes of exercise.

Art

90 day Total: 75 hours, 40 minutes
Daily Average: 50 minutes
Being artistic is intrinsic to being me. Without being creative I rapidly feel smothered and unhappy. Almost everything I do is feeding my imagination or an expression of creativity. There are some things I enjoy doing that are not creative (such as figuring out what foods can be matched up for optimal nutrition) but most activities I enjoy are very creative.
This category includes both drawing done for pay (art commissions) as well as art done for fun (leisure art) as well as practical art (home improvement). Much of the 75 hours were spent on a project of wall-papering my room with artwork. I started with printing out almost all of my artwork that I had scanned in black and white and then applied a mixture of glue and water to the paper and then carefully flattened the papers onto the wall. The project has expanded outside of my own art since I've put up around 1000 sheets of paper at this point. I never realized when I began how many sheets of paper it would take to cover the entire room. However, the result is stunning. I'll have to write a separate blog about it some time.

Gardening

90 day Total: 9 hours, 41 minutes
Daily Average: 6 minutes
This is a bit shockingly low. Only six minutes a day, and yet we've harvested bowls and bowls and bowls full of lettuce and leafy greens. We've brought in handfuls of pea pods, bowls of tomatoes, handfuls of blackberries, and nice bunches of mint, parsley, chives, sage, thyme and other herbs. We've had zucchinis as well.
Despite the tremendous amount of lettuce, chard, arugula, broccoli, leeks, etc, that we've brought in, we've had to little work on the garden since our initial spring planting. I wrote about this in more detail in yesterday's blog entry.

Education

90 day Total: 37 hours, 35 minutes
Daily Average: 25 minutes
I find this interesting. Just 25 minutes a day, and yet I've learned so much in the past 90 days.
I've learned about cob construction, read a book on iridology, read half of the book Think and Grow Rich, read most of Mimi Kirk's book Live Raw, read numerous articles on health, nutrition, HTML, blogging, spirituality, and more. I've watched around a dozen informational videos. I've also listened to a lot of Question & Answer sessions on a number of topics that are a part of The Vegetarian Health Institute's vegetarian/vegan course. They've done topics like "Why is gluten addictive?" and "Is Qi Gong actually effective?" and "How to build bone density." While I prefer reading to listening generally, it is nice sometimes to just lay down and listen, giving my eyes a rest.
And yet, all that boils down to an average of 25 minutes a day. Incredible.
No wonder they say you can be a world-wide authority on a given topic if you read about it for an hour a day. That's a monumental amount of information to take in. If you can retain it all, you're a genius.

Goals

And so this is what has been for ninety days. But as a wise woman said in the documentary "The Secret" – if you only look at what is, you'll get more of what is. You must contemplate what you want, and focus on it. You won't get where you want to get to if you just keep looking down at the ground you're standing on. You must look at the horizon and move towards it, only glancing at your feet enough to keep from tripping.
My Raw Business | Current: 1 hour, 31 minutes | Goal: 2-3 hours | I'm can do more.
Social Media | Current: 52 minutes | Goal: 40 minutes | I'm happy where I'm at.
Gaming | Current: 51 minutes | Goal: 50-60 minutes | I'm happy where I'm at.
Leisure Reading | Current: 1 hour, 42 minutes | Goal: 1-2 hours | I'm happy where I'm at.
Kitchen | Current: 2 hours, 54 minutes | Goal: 3 hours | I'm happy where I'm at.
Cleaning | Current: 27 minutes | Goal: 30 minutes | I think I could clean a bit more.
Exercise | Current: 13 minutes | Goal: 40-60 minutes | I can do a lot better!
Art | Current: 50 minutes | Goal: 40-60 minutes | I'm happy where I'm at.
Gardening | Current: 6 minutes | Goal: 15 minutes | I could stand to enjoy my garden more.
Education | Current: 25 minutes | Goal: 35 minutes | I could learn a little faster.
I guess, mostly, I'm pretty happy with where I am. Mainly I want to exercise more.

Time Spent Calculating Time

If you haven't already asked yourself this, you're going to face-palm yourself when you start wondering... How much time did I spend calculating all this?
Not as much time as you'd think. I didn't specially check to see how much time it took. It'd be strange to have an eleventh category called "time spent logging and calculating things I do" but I suppose I could have done it. I do have on my activity log here and there an entry that reads, "Calculating Averages" which I did every thirteen days. During the day, I'd estimate the logging and totaling took about twenty minutes total per day with the addition of twenty minutes spent every thirteen days to total up and calculate averages for that time period.

The Future

In the future, I plan to keep logging, but I'm not going to do the thirteen day totals and averages. Instead, I'll only do that every thirty days. That'll save me around forty minutes a month.
I am also going to start logging more categories, including spiritual related activities. I am dividing my time spent on my business in to three categories: Content Creations & Editing, Promotion & Everything Else. I figure it is pretty important to know these things.
Also, for my future logging, I've changed the order in which the columns are in. I've moved Gaming to the end, for example, because it is not priority in my life. And, two more categories I've added: Time spent sleeping (because this might be very useful to know in terms of health) and Time spent calculating totals and averages or doing anything related to logging my activities.
I just couldn't resist adding that last one. Ultimately, it'll make the process take a little bit longer, but I'd like to know how much time I'm trading to understand how I'm spending my time. It is kind of like keeping track of how much money you pay your accountant to understand your finances. It is worth knowing.

Spending Time Wisely

Ultimately, I think I've learned a tremendous amount about time and how I spend it. I feel the entire experiment has been well worth it on all bases. I feel that I have actually gained time by spending the time to do this. It is very much like the time I've gained by being healthy even though I've had to invest a lot of time in to my health. It's as that one quote goes, "Spend an hour a day exercising or spend twenty-four hours a day being fat."
I don't agree with what the quote is saying about exercise (as I only exercise about 13 minutes a day and I'm not fat!), but I do agree with the principle. Spend a few hours eating well, exercising, thinking positive and you get to have a great life. The alternative is spending all your time having a bad life.
What this all boils down to, is that we are what we spend our time on. What we do makes us. In a way, these averages I've listed tell who I've been for ninety days.
Aren't you dying to learn who you are? Get logging!
~ Raederle Phoenix

Day 5 | Raederle's Raw Blog

September 7th 2010 | Day 5 | Failure & Success

Oh where has the day gone!
I have failed at doing an all-water cleanse.
However, I have been 100% raw for longer now than my usual, with lots more green drinks in succession than I've ever had in my life. I am finding some success at raw foods at last!
I've got to admit that I have had more energy today than I can remember having in weeks. (I've been closeted up with my novel and not spending enough time making salads or exercising...)
I sanitized the trash-bin today. (Trying to continue to clean something thoroughly each day. Parasites of all shapes and sizes: Begone!)
I did a lot of work-outs and went on a thirty minute walk with my husband today. (This would have been impossible for me a mere few months ago!)
I took a very long shower after working up a good sweat which is excellent for cleansing the pores of toxins and healing troubled skin.
Total consumption overview for the day:
  • 2 herbal parasite-killing pills, and 3 enzyme pills
  • 3 tall glasses of water
  • 1 green drink (spinach, lettuce, green onions, celery, carrot & carrot top, cucumber)
  • A handful of blackberries
  • A few handfuls of raw pistachios
  • ½ banana, 
  • 1 apple
  • A few mouth-fulls of coconut water
An awesome side note: My Raw Blog now has two new features: Blurbs (Q & A page) and My Raw Food Photo Gallery. (This is obviously a very out-of-date and irrelevant statement, as these were pages on Really Raw Raederle back in 2010 and 2011.)
~ Raederle Phoenix

Blast From The Future

Check it out! I've hopped in a time machine and gone back some years to add this note to the bottom of an entry from 2010! Okay, in reality, this post is a blast from the past. To see more blog entries, articles, and everything of awesomeness, visit the site map where you can use the search bar to look for articles on certain topics, or peruse the page for something relevant to your interests.

Day 4 | Raederle's Raw Blog

September 6th 2010 | Day 4 | [11:22pm]

I've discovered that the herbal parasite killing pills are really hard on my system if I'm not eating anything. I've gone similar periods of time without eating without the effects of the past few days.
I was fine today however. I slowly put very tiny of portions of food into me throughout the day with lots and lots of enzyme pills (so that nothing would be left undigested for parasites/bacteria to eat).
Throughout the day I finished the apple I started yesterday, essentially three bites at a time, a handful of blackberries, a handful of raw pistachios, half a banana and a green drink which contained celery, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, carrot and carrot tops.
Last night I discovered how truly important enemas are while detoxing. If you're flushing toxins from your muscles, they just end up somewhere else if you don't get them out of your body. Clean intestines make a world of difference to how I feel.
The reason I hadn't been doing enemas from the beginning, as I intended, was because I was so faint I didn't feel up to it. After eating just a few berries, raw nuts, and couple bites of banana and a green drink I got my strength back and stopped being cold.
I think I'm going to write a new detox outline tomorrow based on what I've learned.

[11:35pm]

My new outline will include a day of water-fasting a week, plenty of enemas, lots of cleaning and being hygienic as I laid out before, but certain portions of vegetables and fruits on a cycle throughout the week.
Total consumption today:
  • 2 herbal parasite-killing pills, 4 enzyme pills and 1 probiotic
  • 2 tall glasses of water
  • 2 cups tea
  • 1 green drink (spinach, lettuce, green onions, celery, carrot & carrot top, cucumber)
  • A handful of blackberries
  • A handful of raw chipoltli pistachios
  • ½ banana
  • ½ kiwi
  • A couple mouth fulls of coconut water
  • ¾ apple, throughout the day
Ah, It's actually been a quite pleasant labor day.
~ Raederle Phoenix

August 30th 2012

If this isn't obvious, I'm migrating this content from my old blog (Really Raw Raederle) to my website where I'm putting all of my content (art, poetry, recipes, meal plans, blogs, articles, musings, etc) together. It's actually fascinating to go back to the beginning of my raw journey and read these old posts.
I no longer struggle with the taste of celery, spinach or many other vegetables I used to hate. I ate sunflower sprouts on a salad yesterday without even thinking twice about it. Back when this was written I still couldn't stand the thought or smell of sprouts.
It's been well over a year since I had the sensation of going numb so easily as I described on Day 3. My circulation is obviously much stronger today than ever before. It's incredible how much I've forgotten about my previous ill health. It slipped my mind that I used to go to bed dizzy and that my limbs went numb if any gentle pressure was applied to them.
How strange to find strength in reading of my own past problems...
I hope you find inspiration here! Let your healing begin.
~ Raederle

Day 3 | Raederle's Raw Blog

September 5th 2010 | Day 3

On today's original agenda:
  •  Water
  •  Garlic Tea
  •  Shower
  •  Vacuum & Clean Desk Surfaces
  •  120 Crunches

[9:28pm]

It's been a tough day. I have not done any of the above except drink water; and not nearly enough of that either.
I woke up again nauseated, like yesterday. I went to bed last night with my circulation so low that resting any weight at all on any of limbs made me go numb. Now, this may sound shocking, but this is something I experience on a somewhat regular basis when very tired or depleted because I have such a weak circulatory system. It was a nightly occurrence when I was at the lowest point in my health (and my life) at the age of sixteen.
I've been doing some serious re-thinking on how I'm going to detox.
Firstly, I think eating up all the cooked foods around the kitchen was a bad thing to do on the week before. I was overeating, and eating a number of things that were not particularly healthy all in a row. That made it even harder on my body to suddenly switch to drinking all water and eating no food.

[11:26pm]

I tried to plunge into this way too fast. I need to take some steps towards it first before I try to dive-in head first. I'm thinking about doing a two-day juice fast with my husband each weekend (with two or three green drinks a day and one smoothie), and then fasting for one or two days after that.
Then on Wednesday and Thursday just eating all-raw, with one green drink a day, and then on Friday eating as much fruit as I want, which I would be limiting the rest of the week, and allowing my husband to have one cooked meal on Friday.
This would allow us to both be much better prepared to dive into a more intense phase of detoxing. As it is, I need to build up some strength. I'm going to start by just adding very small amounts of raw food into my diet.
Total consumption overview for the day:
  • 1 green drink (spinach, lettuce, carrot & carrot top, cucumber)
  • 6 blackberries
  • 4 raw chipoltli pistachios
  • 1 half of a rice cake (to calm my stomach this morning. I held each bite in my mouth until it dissolved. Good for digestion to do so.)
  • 4 thin slices of organic banana
  • 3 very thin slices of organic apple
As a side note, I particularly am unhappy about today's events since it prevented me from making any progress whatsoever on my fantasy novel.
~ Raederle

August 30th 2012

Don't make the same mistakes I did. Instead of doing something "extreme" try a balanced raw diet and follow a nutritionally complete raw meal plan. My raw meal plans are unique because they are nutritionally sound and give you all the directions you need. It's worth it to have a meal plan. It'll save you a lot of "healing crisis" pains!

Day 2 | Raederle's Raw Blog

September 4th 2010

On today's original agenda:
  • Water
  • Garlic Tea
  • Shower
  • Clean Kitchen Sink & Counters & Floor
  • 20 Push-ups
[8:30pm] – Nausea
I woke up this morning very early with horrible stomach pains. I've felt hunger pains before, and I've experienced bloating, gas, cramps, and so on and so forth in the past but this pain was unique in my experience.
I felt better after vomiting, and based on everything I experienced, this was my conclusion:
Because I took one of those really powerful parasite-killing pills (raw pill containing dehydrated herbs), but didn't eat anything or take any probiotic tablets yesterday, there was nothing to absorb all the things in my stomach that the herbs killed. It is recommended to take a probiotic with the parasite-killing pills, but I didn't expect to need to take them for a while.

Effects of Eating Habits

I recovered from the mishap over a very small portion of 'rice cakes' (which were stale) that Jay found for me to ease my extremely upset stomach. I took a probiotic, a peppermint pill (meant to settle the stomach), and an enzyme pill. I've felt fine since... Mostly.
I have all sorts of reactions to food which I can trace. Back before I quit sugar I used to be able to trace eating it to headaches, joint pain, and lack of energy, all of which make perfect sense if you do the research on the effects of sugar; even natural organic cane sugar.
I can now trace much, much, much more subtle, but similar effects from eating fruit in a large quantity.
Before I stopped eating your standard egg-noodles, your conventional high-fructose-corn-syrup-filled bread, and other terribly unhealthy "American staples" I was able to trace my depletion of energy, stomach aches, apathy, and bloating to eating those things.
Now I can see similar effects (in a much milder form) when eating long-grain-brown rice, cooked beans and other complex cooked starches.
What's interesting is that today and yesterday I have not had any strange symptoms I'm used to experiencing from food. No joint pain, no muscle cramps, no headache, no mouth soreness, no bloating, gas, stomach aches (unless you count this bout this morning; but I don't since it was clearly unlike anything I've experienced before), and so forth.
What I do feel is tired. Not lethargic, apathetic or depressive-tired which can be caused from excessive amounts of sugars and simple carbohydrates in general (bread, candy, soda, pasta, white rice, etc), but rather a somewhat-faint tired. This form of being tired is what real hunger feels like.

Hunger vs. Cravings

What a lot of people don't realize is that huger is different from a food craving. Many people have never experienced hunger in their entire lives. When people say "I'm hungry" they are usually saying, "I feel like eating," or "My sugar has crashed and I crave more sugar," or "The parasites in my stomach and intestines are telling my body that I need more carbs." This may sound absurd or exaggerated to some, but it's completely true. What you think is hunger is really cravings; and they may not even be your cravings. They could be cravings causes by parasites in your intestines. There are hundreds of book on this topic or that are related to this topic.

Detox Revision

Today's various adventures have brought me to a few conclusions.
Firstly, it's going to be neigh impossible for me to consume nothing but water. If I had monk training, or if I were a martial artist, or if I was a much more active person, I could probably do it. It has been done before. But I don't think I'm actually healthy enough yet to take such a large step all at once.
I've decided to revise my plan to include bite-size portions of what-ever green drink or vegetable my husband is having, once a day, and at most twice a day. And when I say bite-size I do mean it. And if it's not liquid, then I'll chew that bite over and over until it's liquid in my mouth. (The way we're meant to chew.)
Secondly, I may want to consider taking less parasite-killing herbal pills.
My revised agenda for the day;
  • Probiotics & Enzymes
  • Water
  • Shower
  • Clean Kitchen Sink & Counters & Floor
  • 20 Push-ups
I've done the twenty push-ups; which are from my knees, to note. I could do them from my feet but I'd make myself too exhausted to be of much good. I only want to damage the muscles a little; just enough to grow back stronger. Not so much that my shoulders take days to recover. (For anyone who doesn't know, building muscle is a process of damaging your muscles and rebuilding them back stronger.)
I have yet to shower or do the cleaning. I've been slacking a little and playing video games most of the day because it's Saturday and my husband wanted to play games, and I wanted to play with him... So there you have it.
We're playing a turn-based game together. I have extra time whenever his turn takes longer than mine (we can take our turns simultaneously, but whoever completes their turn first still has to wait for the other person to finish). I've been thinking of designing a board game to go with my fantasy novel's setting. Today I designed the board to the board game.
I'm really in love with the board design, and happy that I did that today, even if I should have been working on the novel itself, not some side-project.
Total consumption today:
  • 2 mouth-fulls of Jay's green drink (primarily spinach with garlic and beets)
  • 2 tall glasses of filtered water
  • 1½ rice cakes; to settle this morning's upset stomach
  • 1 enzyme tablet, 1 probiotic, 1 peppermint tablet
Despite the horrible pain this morning, I feel that I'm still on the right track. After all, no battle plan survives first contact.
Thanks for stopping by.
~ Raederle

Day 1 | Raederle's Raw Blog

September 3rd 2010

Today's agenda:
  •  Water
  •  Garlic Tea
  •  Onions & Garlic & Cinnamon oil in the ears
  •  Shower
  •  Clean bathroom sink and toilet
  •  100 Crunches
  •  Take "Before" Pictures

[12:12pm]

So far I've taken my shower and taken my first detox tablet. And of course I've had some water. I'm already thinking about how I don't want to do a water fast.
The two most important things about the first stage of this detox is having nothing sweet and nothing solid. Doing all-water is just taking things to a higher level than that. A complete reset on the way my body works.
Gah! This is going to be really tough.
I should start on those 100 crunches if I ever want to get through them today. I'm not feeling very high energy. I stayed up way too late last night thinking about my novel and the movie my husband and I went to see last night; Avatar. [At the time this was written I was working on a fantasy novel.]
It's not an auspicious start for day one.

[2:03pm]

Since this morning's log I've sanitized the toilet and sink. It's important to clean and santize your entire house while detoxing to make sure you don't simply reinfect yourself with all the same bacteria. While doing a detox without cleaning your home will still have results, cleaning will make the results last longer.
I've also taken some "before" photos. Because I already lost the "extra baggage" a few years ago, and because my face already slimmed out when I cut butter and some other last straggling habits out of my diet several months ago, there wouldn't be much of a change to see if I were wearing a T-shirt and jeans. Hence, don't be surprised when seeing me in a bikini.

[7:49pm]

I just now finished my 100 crunches for the day.
I did make a couple exceptions today, but for good reason. I still had four carrots that I had not eaten, and my husband is somewhat allergic to them. [Jay stopped being allergic to carrots after four months on raw vegan foods. Jay started the raw diet the same time I did: the day I wrote this blog: September 3rd 2010. Although, the onion soup wasn't raw, it was one of a very, very short list of exceptions to a 100% raw vegan diet for the year that followed.]
I blended and strained the carrots for a cup of carrot juice. Before having that cup of carrot juice I was feeling a bit faint, but now I'm feeling quite excellent, and not the least bit underfed.
I did make another small exception, which was to have some onion broth. I cooked two onions and added seasonings. I made the soup mostly for my husband, but had a small bowl of just broth with no actual clumps. So thereby I have not violated being on an all-liquid regime, nor have I had any fruit, but I did have two things that were certainly not water.
I've decided a cup of tea every day isn't unreasonable since it helps to ease a clove of raw garlic down. The clove of raw garlic by far negates any effects that the tea could possibly have to disrupting the detox process, from my standpoint.
Total consumption overview for the day:
  • 1 cup of tea
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tall glasses of filtered water
  • 1 small bowl of onion broth
  • 1 glass of carrot juice (including carrot tops)
All in all, I think it's a good first day.
~ Raederle

A Lovely Morning | Raederle's Raw Blog

Today is August 28th in the year of 2012.

Buffalo, New York – August Weather

The weather has been fabulous this August. Mild rains, warm days, a few hot days reaching ninety-one degrees Fahrenheit, but mostly ranging from a pleasant 75 to 85.
It's a cool morning. Last night we had a gentle rain.
Raederle's 2012 Garden

My Garden

The garden is doing fabulously. I've hardly needed to tend anything whatsoever.
The weeds cause a diversity of insects that prevent herb-eating bugs from getting out of hand. All I need to do it cut back a weed when it starts shading my lettuces or chard too much. The partial shade from the weeds keeps my plants from wilting in the hot sun.
I've spent a lot more time harvesting food from the garden than I have cutting back weeds.
This is an early lesson for me in permaculture. In years to come I look forward to learning more.

Breakfast

Two oranges, with the pith. I've been enjoying cutting off just the orange outer layer and eating the white thick fiber with the orange segments. Much of the nutrition of an orange is in the pith. The pith is valuable fiber which is great for digestive and colon health. Overall, since the pith is fairly flavorless, I see every reason to consume it.
Three tablespoons of aloe juice. I keep trying different brands of aloe juice, and they all seem to be similar in their level of effectiveness. Although some are clearly more concentrated than others. The one I bought inadvertently with an excess of preservatives was the only one that upset my stomach instead of soothing me.
Two nori wraps with fresh sage leaves.
And a tablespoon of psyllium husk in water. I find that psyllium husk is a great item to have in my diet right now when I'm not eating apples, bananas or as many salads as usual either. I've been eating some steamed kale for extra calcium. This is a topic of some controversy, but most of the opinions on it are biased, and not by hard evidence.
In my book, Collecting Calcium, I present the case for why almost everyone is calcium deficient, including many (if not most) raw vegans. It comes down to the calcium to phosphorus ratio in our diets.

Day Dreaming

When not doing research on minerals, vitamins and human health, I've been day dreaming about my future raw eco-community. I've determined I will absolutely be using cob construction, which you can learn about in this documentary: "First Earth."
To be clear, an eco-community is like a commune. A "commune" is just a word for a community living together with many communal activities. It is fairly unrelated to the term communism, and has no resemblance to the values displayed by today's communist countries. An eco-commune or eco-community is a group of people living together using techniques and technologies in harmony with nature.
Overall, I'm very pleased with where I'm at in life right now. I finally got this website up on August 1st 2012 – 27 days ago. I had the artwork ready-made for it for a long time before that, but was wrestling with how I wanted to do the HTML and whether or not I wanted to use a different website platform, etc. But, at long last, I figured out what I wanted to do, and went for it. I'm very delighted to be migrating all my content here, even if it is a monument-sized task that is swallowing hours of my life each day.
If you're curious about anything, seeking to find articles on a certain topic, etc, there is a search bar on my site map page.
Thanks for reading. If you like my website then join my monthly mailing list for updates. (Sign up below.)
~ Raederle

Vegan on a Cow Ranch

Vegan Staying On A Cow Ranch Blog Entry

March 18th 2012

Traveling

I'm on a road trip.
Lytenian and I drove here to Moline, Kansas from Buffalo, New York.
We left on Monday, March 5th at 10:00pm and arrived here on Wednesday at 4:00am. That is a thirty hour journey. We plan to leave on Tuesday to head for Georgia. We've only thus far traveled to our first destination of five. (We're headed to Florida, Georgia and two places in North Carolina as well.)
Photos, maps showing our progress, and so on, can be seen in this facebook photo album (click here).

Getting Some Sun

It is nice being out in the country and breathing in fresh air. Last week I was able to sun-bathe four days out of the week. (And it is March!) I purposely did this with my arms covered but my mid-drift and legs bare. I know I'll be getting plenty of sun on my arms later on.
Photo of Raederle in Kansas, taken by Lytenian (March 2012)

Yoga & Zumba

I've been doing a little more yoga than usual which is wonderful. I was fortunate enough to be able to drop into a Zumba class in Wichita as my Aunt-in-law has a Y membership and they have all kinds of awesome classes there. I worked up a full body sweat in the hour and smiled almost the entire time. The teacher was very entertaining and fun.

On A Cow Ranch

My husband's father's parents own the ranch we're staying at. Yes, yes, I know. I'm a vegan and I'm currently staying on a ranch... No use making a fuss about that. Hearts only change for the better through love.
My husband's father's brother lives here as well, and the two sons of my husband's father's sister visit here often. It isn't a bustling place but it also isn't quite the hermit life that one could imagine in such an unpopulated area.
My grandfather-in-law has over a thousand cows. It is calving season and he says hundreds of calves are born each year and he sells hundreds of grown cows each year. They don't use growth hormone or artificial feeding methods. They do use antibiotics, but only if a cow is very sick. I have not asked how many acres there are, but with so many cows sometimes not a single cow can be seen from the house and the house is on a bit of a hill. That alone says something about the size of the land. Also, it is a five minute drive to get off the dirt road onto a paved one.
I've seen cows penned up along the side of the road with hardly enough room to turn around in some parts of the country. When I see that, it makes me angry and sad. But it isn't like that here. The cows have a very large area to roam.

Groceries & Food

The nearest grocer is a twenty minute drive away. There isn't much at the store that I consider food. It does have produce, but the selection is very limited. The only organic items sold there are small tubs of organic spinach. It's much better than nothing, but they don't always have them in stock. Everything else is conventionally grown. Rather sad and shocking when I'm in the middle of so much land that food could be grown on.
All things considered, the selection is a bit larger than one might expect for the middle of no-where. They still have bananas here, even if they're incredibly green at the market. It seems that bananas are shipped everywhere.
We've been eating steamed asparagus, broccoli, cabbage and onions from the market to supplement the food we brought with us. Trying to be 100% raw in this circumstance would be possible with enough forethought, but I would have had to bring a giant mound of kale chips along.
We did bring apples, bananas and citrus with us. Some we brought all the way from home in Buffalo and some we purchased at Whole Foods in St. Louis on the way driving in.
Not so long ago (when I took the Zumba class) we were able to pick up a bunch of great organic items at Green Acres Market in Wichita.
My grandma-in-law doesn't have a blender. It never occurred to us that anybody might not own a blender.
We brought our juicers (both our masticating juicer and our centrifuge juicer) and our food processor. It's a lot to lug around, but that is a huge advantage of road trips (as opposed to flying by plane).
We've attempted smoothies in the food processor, but they come out more like a thin ice-cream. Still good, but not quite a smoothie. The design of the food processor just isn't meant for that much fluid.

In The Great Plains

Birds can be heard almost all the time here, which is nifty. As I write this now I can look to my right out the window and see the plains and from behind me out the screen door is the sound of birds chirping.

Being Good Grandkids

We've done a little cleaning for Grandma. Just sweeping, vacuuming, dishes and organizing the fridge. Mostly that is just cleaning up after ourselves, so perhaps it doesn't count.

Hiking... A miss-adventure...

The other day I went hiking with my husband and his cousin. It's wonderful to just walk around in nature. It's something very alien to my usual day-to-day experience.
While out with my husband's cousin and my husband something happened that rather turned my world upside-down. His cousin shot a small animal he referred to as a "coon." It was the first animal I'd ever seen killed before my eyes.
I had a bit of a panic attack. I didn't want to face anybody. I turned on my heal and stalked off into the wooded area around the creek.
I had already been feeling a bit annoyed at myself at struggling so much with the rocky brush-covered terrain. I grew up in a city and I'm used to walking on side-walks.
Due to my fatigued childhood, I never did much of any walking or running, and my eyeballs just can't keep up with all the rocks and roots on the ground. My legs are capable of moving much, much faster now (much faster than ever in my life), but yet my eyes can't take in the terrain as assess where I step, forcing me to walk slow over rocky terrain.
Trying to keep up over uncertain terrain brought up a lot of emotions of being inadequate that I struggled with a lot in my childhood. Always the last in the race, always the last picked for the team, always being yelled at for being too slow, too weak and so on. I wanted to participate but felt that participating would only lead to pain and rejection, and time and time again that is all it ever led to. There were times where I couldn't keep up and was simply ditched by my peers, left lost in the middle of parts of the city I was entirely unfamiliar with.
All those emotions started bubbling in me. I would not be left behind. I would not be slowing to the men. I would participate and keep up.
My cousin-in-law struck up a conversation about horror movies and movies with lots of blood and guts in them. There are few topics I'd rather talk about less.
I am a very chill person though. I don't say, "Oh, let's not talk about this," or "Oh, I need to slow down." I mostly take everything in stride and do what I need to do differently. I don't like to be the complainer. I didn't want to set myself apart. I wanted to feel like I was just as capable and unruffled.
The problem was that I was getting ruffled and had no easy way out. At a city event within a building or in a courtyard I can just walk away. I don't need to interrupt anybody or inconvenience anybody to simply remove myself from the situation. If I dislike a topic I can wander off and go talk to someone else about something else.
I was in the wild however and could do no such thing. I wasn't even aware which way was back towards the house.
To make this all truly unbearable my shoes were entirely unsuited to the hike and I was actually sliding in my shoes each time we stepped on ground that wasn't level. And guess what? None of it was level.
And thus, about the time my cousin shot the "coon" I was already brain-numbed from conversations about bloodied movies, and experiencing a lot of pain in my ankles and going through the emotional turmoil of not being able to leave and feeling inadequate and resonating to previous unpleasant experiences.
I couldn't handle it. My mind shut down and the last thing I wanted was to confront anybody. I became terrified of having to speak to someone. I sprinted off into the middle of nowhere. I didn't think about all the cows on the land, or the possibility of running into a coyote. Of course, my sprint left my ankles hurting worse.
I went wildly around trees, over gullies, up and down hill sides and found myself somewhere... Where I could not see the house, could not tell where I had come from. I crouched down (when I felt I had put enough distance between me and them) and almost began to cry. Then I stopped myself and began to meditate instead.
I worked through everything I was feeling until I felt calm. That was a tricky bit of work. I began to feel vulnerable. The thought of the little creature's death kept making me think how unfair and wrong it all is.
Ranchers kill the predators (or hire someone to do so) to protect the cows and then other small wild life gets out of control from lack of predators and then they kill them too. They have to take down trees to make enough space for the cows. So much destruction in the name of raising beef for the American public.
And what am I? Where is my place in this?
I thought about my shoes: not the right type of shoes for hiking. I thought about my mental exhaustion: not the mind-set to be alert and able in the mind. I thought of my glasses...
With my hurting ankles and emotionally sore mind I was vulnerable.
If I were naked and without glasses like the animals on the land I would be pathetic. I had no idea where I was.
I am not fit for survival out there. I am completely dependent on this "unfair" and "wrong" society. How can I judge something that created me and that I rely on for survival?
And who am I to judge?
What gives me the right to say "this is wrong" in any form?
At least these cows seem well taken care of from all I can see. And my grandparents-in-law are very kind people. They help out other families in the town in many, many ways. They help when someone's house burns down, or when someone's child is lost or hurt. They are very generous and kind people. They do not fit the stereotype that vegans often paint of "meat eaters" as though everyone who eats meat somehow is a cruel person.
All of that flashed through my mind and more as I squatted in the brush, catching my breath and my sanity.
Once I became calm I said to myself, "I need to know how to get back." Using my brain I got to the top of the nearest hill. I couldn't see anything past the brush in any direction.
I thought again, this time using my emotions and spirit (not my mind), "I need to get back."
A bird swooped down in front of me, catching my attention, and then landed on a tree off to my left. I walked directly in that direction for quite some time. I was at least a mile from the house. I walked in that direction exactly, even when it took me through bushes and down steep slopes.
It was the exact direction of the house.
Facing my cousin-in-law and my husband was tough. They had been worried about me. I can't even express how embarrassed I felt.

Other Adventures

We've caught a number of scorpions and put them outside. They aren't very dangerous in comparison to the brown recluse spiders we've been squashing.
I've discovered that aloe plants and turmeric roots are amazing. I've recently posted a recipe using turmeric roots and the photos on that recipe's page were taken here in the yard just a few days ago.
Namaste
~ Raederle
When reading, the most incredible things I've ever learned came from stories. Stories are more memorable. They create images and time-lines in our minds. They give us all the background information that lead up to a great moment, a great realization, a great break-through.
In reality, we only truly grasp ("grok") something through personal experience. We can not add to our experience through reading dry data. But we really can and do add to our experience with stories. The more detailed, authentic, and dynamic the story, the more there is for us to learn from it. The more it resonates with us and touches us, the more we retain what we've learned.
It is because of this that I'm writing my own life as a series of autobiographical novels. If this interests you, please sign up at left and visit my patreon page for exclusive access to my personal revelations, diary entries and autobiographical novels as I'm writing them. You'll also get a lot of other awesome perks, which you can read about here: www.patreon.com/Raederle.